If you’ve been bombarded with spam calls recently, you’re not alone. This is a problem many startup founders and small business owners experience. A few years ago, I saw a post from a fellow founder who wanted to figure out how to remove his personal phone number from the internet. When I looked into it, I found that my own number was also all over the internet.

Many founders use their personal phone numbers for their business. That’s because founders use it to register their company for different services. But having your personal phone number listed in many public places online results in spam and random calls, making it possible for criminals to gain control over your number (SIM card swap, anyone?) and potentially other personal information.

So how do you remove your phone number from the internet (without impacting your business)?

I wrote this guide to help you do just that.

Find where your phone number is listed

A simple Google search will tell a lot about where your phone number is listed. I did this for my own number to remove my information.

For starters, search your number in different formats and combinations:

  • Your phone number in these formats: (415) xxx-yyyy, 415xxxyyyy and +1415xxxyyyy
  • Your full name + phone number (e.g., “Daryna Kulya phone number”)
  • Your company name + phone number (e.g., “OpenPhone phone number”)
Google phone number to see if it's on the internet

After that initial search, you can individually search common sites that distribute phone numbers. Then, follow each site’s process to opt out and remove your number. I’ve listed the most common ones below, along with instructions on how to opt out of each of them.

1. Apollo

Apollo is a B2B market database used for sales. It boasts 250 million+ personal contacts and 60 million+ business contacts. And your information is probably one of those numbers, even if you didn’t add it.

Where to find your number

You will have to create an account (they have a free option) and navigate to “Search” on the top bar. On the left side, you’ll see multiple filters you can use to search. Type in your name or business name and select “Search.”

Apollo website

How to opt out

  1. Go to this page and fill out their form or email [email protected]
Opt out of your number being available on Apollo
  1. Opt out (which prevents future contact) or remove your information entirely. (Removing your information means they will not retain your opt-out preference, so Apollo could add you again in the future.)
  2. Go to your email inbox and click the link to verify. 

2. ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo is a market intelligence platform used by businesses for sales and marketing. Their database of personal and business information gives their users access to data that could gain them new clients. Some of this information may be your personal or business information.

Where to find your number

By signing up for an account (they offer a free trial), you can access hundreds of millions of people’s personal phone numbers, emails, employment information, and more. You can find yours by searching your name, phone number, company, job/title, or location. 

How to opt out

  1. Go here to remove yourself from ZoomInfo. 
Opt out of number being available on ZoomInfo
  1. Enter your email address.
  2. Verify your request via a code sent to your email. 

3. Clearbit

Clearbit is intended to help businesses grow by providing tools that help them reach prospects and understand their customers. This includes storing and analyzing large amounts of firmographic information such as names, locations, employment records, and more.

Where to find your number

Clearbit does not offer a free version, and their paid versions are customized based on your business needs. You won’t be able to look up your information on their platform unless you create an account for your business.

How to opt out

  1. Access the “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” form (located at the bottom of their home page).
  2. This will take you to a page that explains you have the option, under CCPA, to opt out by emailing [email protected] and providing your name, email address, and postal address.
Opt out of number being available on Clearbit
  1. You can also access and fill out their “Right to Opt Out” form.

4. People Data Labs

People Data Labs is, as the name suggests, an extensive database of people’s information — with over 3 billion personal profiles and 18 million business profiles.

Where to find your number

People Data Labs isn’t designed to search for individual people. Instead, it gives API keys that can be embedded into your business website, targeting specific groups of people.

How to opt out

  1. Access their opt-out form here (located at the bottom of their home page).
Opt out of number being available on People Data Labs
  1. Enter your name, email address, state, and phone number.
  2. Confirm you are not a robot, then submit.
  3. You will then receive an email requiring confirmation of your request. 

5. Hunter.io

Hunter.io, also known as Email Hunter, claims they can find you any professional email in seconds. It searches the internet for emails connected with domain names and provides these to marketers, along with any associated information like names, phone numbers, job titles, and social profiles.

Where to find your number

Hunter.io primarily finds email addresses, but it can also list phone numbers if available. To find your information on Hunter.io, visit their main page here and type in your business domain name. Depending on the search, they may require you to create an account. But the account is free to sign up.

Hunter website

How to opt out

It is possible to remove your email from Hunter.io. To do so:

How to opt out of number being available on Hunter
  1. Go to the Claim section and enter your email. 
  2. Depending on what you want to do, select the “Edit” or “Delete” radio button. 
  3. Select “Claim the email address.” 
  4. You will then receive an email verification.
  5. Once you have completed the verification step, your address will be removed (or edited, depending on your selection).

6. PeekYou

PeekYou’s tagline is “people search made easy.” And, for better or worse, this is true. They have a database that is searched by over 6 million people monthly.

Where to find your number

PeekYou has a search engine on its homepage where you can type in a person’s name and select search — without signing up or giving any of your own information. This will give you a peek at a person’s information, such as their location and possible relatives. You can select a person, sign up for free, and then access a lot more — home address, previous addresses, family members and relatives, employment information, social media profiles, phone numbers, public court records, photos, and more.  

PeekYou website

How to opt out

  1. Go to “Do Not Sell My Information” on PeekYou.com.
  2. Type in your name and select “Search.”
  3. Scroll down the list until you find your information profile and select it.
  4. Click on “Opt Out” in the upper right-hand corner. 
Opt out of number being available on PeekYou
  1. Fill out the information and submit it.

Note: This will only remove your information from their database. Their search engine is pulling information from other databases as well. This means when you search your name, that information can still be pulled up. To remove your information from all their search results, you will have to go to each individual location (social media companies, public court records, etc.) and remove or seal the information at each of those locations.

7. Datanyze

Datanyze is a Google Chrome extension that aggregates data such as names, phone numbers, emails, and social media information to be used for B2B marketing. They claim to ethically source all of their information and respect people’s privacy.

Where to find your phone number

In order to access information on Datanyze, you will first have to install their Google Chrome extension and sign up for an account. After that, you can go to your LinkedIn profile, and the extension will display your information in the upper right corner.

Datanyze web extension on LinkedIn

How to opt out

Opt out of number being available on Datanyze
  1. Go to this link.
  2. Enter your email and confirm you are not a robot.
  3. Confirm your request via your email.

8. Manta 

Manta is a US online directory dedicated to small businesses. If you’re a business owner or a startup founder in the US, your company probably has a profile on Manta — even if you didn’t create one yourself.

Where to find your number

Manta website

Go to Manta’s business directory and enter your company name to search for your profile.

How to opt out 

  1. Go to the Manta contact page and submit a request. 
Opt out of number being displayed on Manta's website
  1. Under the “Inquiry type” drop-down menu, you can select to remove your profile entirely (“Profile – Remove”) or update the phone number (“Profile – Updates”). 
  2. You’ll get an email when your profile has been removed or updated.

9. Whitepages

Whitepages has the largest database of contact information on US residents. If you live in the US, there’s a good chance you have a profile on Whitepages and have no idea about it. I was definitely surprised to find mine.

Where to find your number

Whitepages website

Look yourself up in People Search. They provide certain information for free and more advanced information (like background checks) for Whitepages Premium customers.

To opt out

  1. Go to the Opt-Out page.
Opting out of personal number being shown on the Whitepages website
  1. Paste the link to your profile.
  2. Confirm that you’d like your profile removed.
  3. Verify your identity with a phone call. Whitepages ensures the phone number entered here won’t be used for anything beyond verification. Oh, the irony.
  4. That’s it! You’ll get an email once your information is removed.

10. RocketReach

RocketReach is a database offering contact information of 700 million professionals worldwide across 35 million companies.

Where to find your number

I found my RocketReach profile when I searched for my full name + phone number on Google. You can also search for your name + RocketReach to see if you have one.

Here’s my profile before I removed it. Some of the numbers listed are so old that I completely forgot about them.

RocketReach profile

How to opt out

  1. Copy the link to your RocketReach profile.
Opting out of number being shown on RocketReach
  1. Claim your profile.
  2. Enter your name, company, profile URL, and email so RocketReach can verify that you really are who you say you are. 
  3. Click on the link in your email to verify.

11. Lusha

Lusha provides B2B enrichment data. Their database consists of contact information they find through social network profiles.

Where to find your number

Create a free account. Then, search for your information by installing the Lusha Chrome extension and opening your LinkedIn profile.​​ 

Lusha website

Or you can go to the prospect search and look up a specific name, company, and/or job title.

How to opt out

  1. Access the Request Removal page.
Opt out of number being displayed on Lusha's website
  1. Enter the required information to pull up your profile.
  2. Once you submit the form, the Lusha team will contact you to confirm the information has been removed. You can email [email protected] to verify.

12. Dun & Bradstreet + Hoovers

D&B + Hoovers is recognized for its Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS numbers). With this system, they provide commercial data, analytics, and insights on over 170 million companies around the world. 

Note: If you have an Apple Developer account for your company, you have a DUNS number.

Where to find your number:

Dun & Bradstreet website

Go directly to their homepage and click in the Search box at the top of the page.

You can search by company, industry, and contact profile.

How to opt out:

  1. Go here to their opt-out page.
  2. Submit your case by inputting your email address.
Opting out of number being displayed on Dun & Bradstreet website
  1. You’ll be asked to provide a series of information. The information you provide will only be used to fulfill your CCPA (California Consumer and Privacy Act) request.
  2. Once submitted, the D&B + Hoovers team will review your case and get back to you.

13. Crunchbase

Crunchbase collects information about private and public companies — from early-stage startups to the Fortune 500. This includes investment and funding information, M&A, and industry trends.

Where to find your number

Enter your name or company name in the search bar right at the top of the homepage.

How to update your information

  1. Click the drop-down menu at the top of your profile and select “Edit.”
  2. You’ll need to log in to your account. If you do not have one, you’ll have to register. This way, only authorized changes to your profile are approved.
  3. The Crunchbase team will verify your account by requesting you link your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account.
Crunchbase opting out of personal number showing on website
  1. Once verified, you can edit your profile or remove any personal information.

14. CB Insights

CB Insights is a tech market intelligence platform that analyzes data points on VC, startups, partnerships, and news mentions to find future investments.

Where to find your number

CB Insights website

Search for your company or name + CB Insights on Google. Or log in to your account and select “Advanced Search” near the top of the page to search for your company.

How to opt out

Opt out of number showing on CB Insights
  1. If you are already registered, you can log in here to edit. 
  2. Use their editor tool to update your profile to remove unwanted personal information like your personal cell number.
  3. If you are not registered, email them at [email protected]. Their team will remove any contact information for you.

More information about updating your profile can be found on their help page.

15. Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB provides consumers with different data points on a company before they do business with it. The organization specializes in trust badges like the BBB Accredited Business seal that help businesses gain credibility.

Where to find your number

Better Business Bureau website

Enter your company name in the search bar right on their homepage. You can also search on Google by entering your company name + BBB.

How to opt out

To request updates to your profile, you can email [email protected]. In the email you should state the following:

  1. Link to your company BBB profile.
  2. Information that BBB has about your company.
  3. Request to change or delete any data they have.

You can also log in to your BBB profile and attempt to make the updates yourself.

  1. Select the “Update your Business Info” button.
  2. Delete or change your phone number.
  3. Select “Review and save changes” to submit.
  4. The BBB will review your changes within 48 hours before they are published.

16. Search People Free

As the name suggests, Search People Free is a directory containing the personal information of many people. They claim to own 700+ million public records. Anyone can access this information since it’s free of charge. No sign-up is necessary.

Where to find your number

Search People Free website

Enter your name, address, email, or phone number in the search bar on their home page.

How to opt out

  1. Go here to enter your email address.
  2. Agree to the terms and let them know you’re not a bot 🤖.
  3. Validate your email address
Opt out of number being available on Search People Free
  1. Search for your record, then click on “Details” to bring up your record.
  2. Click “Continue Removal”
  3. At the bottom of the record page, click “Remove this record.”

What to do next

Now that you know how to remove your personal phone number from various directories across the internet, ensure you protect it going forward.

Don’t use your personal cell number for business.

You’ve already seen what happens when you use a personal phone number for business. Don’t make this mistake going forward, and don’t give your personal number to anyone outside your friends and family.

Get a business phone number. 

There are many services you can use to get a second phone line for your business. The simplest option for founders and teams is to get a business number from OpenPhone. We’ve specifically built it to help manage your business and personal communications seamlessly on one device. 

Get a new personal cell number.

Depending on how many sites and directories have your personal phone number, it might be worth changing. You can do that without losing your current number if you port your number to a service like OpenPhone. 

This way, you can gradually transition from using your personal number for everything to getting the separation and privacy you want.

When you port your existing phone number to OpenPhone, you can use it via an app on your cell or computer. Then, get a new personal number on your SIM card.
Try out OpenPhone at any time by signing up for a free, seven-day trial.

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Author

Co-Founder at OpenPhone. Ukrainian-Canadian in SF. Love exploring new hiking trails.

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